Five Things to Know About 5G

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Imagine operating a business with connection speeds 100 times faster than today or downloading an HD movie in under five seconds. Those things will soon become a reality with 5G, the next generation wireless network, which will serve as both an economic engine and transformative gateway to future development.

Companies like Crown Castle are already deploying the infrastructure that will comprise the backbone of 5G in Chicago and cities across the country. Here are five important things to know:

 #1: 5G stands for 5th generation

Each new generation of wireless networks has brought increased functionality to our devices. 1G delivered analog voice, 2G introduced digital voice and text messaging and 3G brought mobile data. Currently, 4G LTE is the wireless standard, which has ushered in the era of mobile internet. 5G is less of an evolution from 4G LTE and more of a wireless revolution in that it will serve as a platform for innovation, ultimately empowering new user experiences.

 #2: Demand for connectivity has led to 5G

We live in a world where connectivity is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 262 million smartphone users, in addition to more than 180 million other connected devices. And from 2016-2018, data traffic alone increased 238 percent. This demand for connectivity has created capacity constraints. That is why you might have trouble refreshing Twitter at a ballgame or lose GPS signal while driving. The transformative nature of 5G is illustrated by the 10,000 times increase in data traffic capacity it will support, while delivering more instantaneous and real-time access.

 #3: Small cell technology is critical to 5G rollout

Cell towers have traditionally enabled the capabilities of previous wireless networks. However, a new type of infrastructure, known as small cell nodes, is required for 5G technology. These small and inconspicuous nodes are typically installed close together on pre-existing infrastructure, such as streetlights and utility poles. Once connected, these small cells  can help unleash the power and capabilities of the 5G network.

 #4: 5G will foster a more robust IoT

Have you ever thought about how adding connectivity to streetlights could foster cost savings? Or how weather sensors and GPS could connect to deliver safer driving routes? According to a forecast from Gartner, Inc., there were approximately 8.4 billion connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices in 2017, a number that is expected surpass 20 billion by as early as next year.

With 5G technology, there will be no shortage of connected IoT devices that could truly transform the way we live, work and play today.

 #5: 5G will have a substantial economic impact 

On a local level, 5G will play a leading role in fostering a competitive local business climate. It’s a technology that is key to Chicago realizing its future as both a smart city and global tech hub. National industry reports also show that 5G can generate approximately 3 million new jobs, $500 billion in new GDP and $275 billion in infrastructure investments.

There is still a great deal to learn about the next generation wireless network and all that it will enable. But if there is one thing we know for certain, the 5G revolution is coming, and it is sure to be exciting.

For more information on Crown Castle, please contact Renee Morales, Public Affairs Manager.

Crown Castle owns, operates and leases more than 40,000 cell towers and approximately 65,000 route miles of fiber supporting small cells and fiber solutions across every major U.S. market.  This nationwide portfolio of communications infrastructure connects cities and communities to essential data, technology and wireless service - bringing information, ideas and innovations to the people and businesses that need them.  For more information on Crown Castle, please visit

5 Lessons I Learned from The Founders

The inaugural cohort of The Founders’ Assembly

The inaugural cohort of The Founders’ Assembly

By Liana Bran, IHCC Program Director

At the end of last year the first cohort of IHCC’s The Founders’ Assembly came to a close. Over the past four months, six leaders came together to share how their teams, and more importantly, their ability to lead them, play a role in some of their biggest challenges. During this time, The Founders came together, “assembled,” if you will, to help each other explore these obstacles to growth more deeply and support one another to act on the tough decisions leaders are tasked to make every day.

I was fortunate enough to be part of these conversations and to see the “other side of leadership.” As a member of a team, it is easy to be quick to judge our leaders and point out their missteps. But leadership is tough; our culture teaches us it is something we should all want, should all aspire to, and yet, it can feel heavy. It can feel lonely. That makes connecting with and learning from other leaders all the more valuable.

Perhaps not surprisingly, in spite of the variety of organizations represented among The Founders, many of the themes at the heart of our discussions were the same. Together we uncovered some key learnings that will stay with me as I continue to define what leadership means for me:

1) Don’t accept the status quo. Make the hard choice.

For me, leadership means pushing what is possible, helping people live and work to their full potential and seeing the world as it can be, not as it is. Change can be uncomfortable, painful even, and fear of what that change means for us and others can paralyze us. During the course of our time together, several of The Founders made some tough decisions, but they all found that acting on them was the best thing they could have done for the organization and everyone involved.

2) Trust your gut (and the rest of your body). Listen to what it is telling you.

It surprised me how often The Founders already had a strong sense of what they had to do but did not trust themselves enough to act on it. For them, the value of peer support was in affirming what they already knew. This fact does not diminish the importance of making thoughtful, informed decisions, but as a leader, if your gut is telling you something needs to change, you should probably listen.

 3) When you let your commitments rather than your fears guide you, you are empowered to make decisions and lead with clarity.

Knowing whether you have made the right decision is easier when you understand your organizational and personal goals, values, and commitments and can see how your decisions align with them. These decisions feel so much better than decisions we make out of fear or to avoid some outcome.

 4) Make time to be strategic and “plan from the end.”

We can be so much more effective if we understand where we want to go and what we need to do each day to get there.  Otherwise, it is easy to get derailed in the day-to-day noise of life. To do this well, you need to constantly and intentionally make time to define your plan and make sure you stick with it (or adjust, as necessary).

 5) Feedback is a gift. Don’t wait to give your team feedback; rather, share it when it is most relevant and useful.

Few of us enjoy receiving or giving “constructive” criticism. It can feel deeply personal and attack the way we see ourselves (or the way we want to see ourselves). But getting feedback is how we learn and grow!  Creating a culture where feedback is welcomed may feel uncomfortable at first but is one of our most powerful tools to strengthening our organizations and the people within them.

Jaime di Paulo Named New President & CEO of IHCC

Jaime di Paulo, President & CEO

Jaime di Paulo, President & CEO

The Board of Directors of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) has appointed Jaime di Paulo as the new President and CEO. Mr. di Paulo, formerly the Executive Director of the Little Village Chamber of Commerce (LVCC) for the last five years, was selected by the IHCC Board following a rigorous and competitive search led by Noetic Search. 

Over his tenure at LVCC, the budget, membership and volunteer base all grew significantly. 

He also was able to build support and participation from elected officials and corporate leaders contributing to heightened visibility for LVCC and increased opportunities for business growth for members and non-members alike. These accomplishments were recognized in 2018, with LVCC being awarded Chamber of the Year by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“As the next CEO of IHCC, I have a moral obligation to be personally involved, not only to support business growth and develop our organization, but also to help our Hispanic communities prosper by using our influence proactively with the business community to make a sustainable difference,” said Jaime di Paulo. “In collaboration with the IHCC Board of Directors and staff, my job as leader is to start the fire that fuels the virtuous cycle of success here in Illinois and turn our work into a beacon of hope, creating and shaping the future. One of my key deliverables as I take office next January 22nd, is to ‘imagine’ the IHCC future.  With that in mind, we should then concentrate on validating our strategic choices to make them a reality. I am thrilled, excited, grateful and humbled all at the same time. Dreams do come true in Illinois!”

“I personally could not be more proud of the hard work my fellow board members displayed during this process,” said Board Chair, Juan Gaytan. “We selected Jaime for many reasons but, the key areas, were his understanding of the role of a statewide chamber of commerce, and his demonstrated success bringing government and private sector projects to the Latino business community. The IHCC board and staff is committed to strengthening our member and client businesses and help create a better world through entrepreneurship. With our new leadership we are excited about the future of IHCC.”

A welcome reception will be held at Carnivale on Wednesday, January 30th from 5:30pm - 7:30pm. Tickets and more information can be found here.